BlackBerry update gives users access to Android apps via the Amazon Appstore

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BlackBerry today has revealed a major software update for all of its BlackBerry 10 devices. Most notably, the update adds the ability for all BB10 devices to access Android applications. Bumping the build number to version 10.3.1, this update is rolling out to all BlackBerry 10-powered devices, including the Z10, Q10, and Z30. The company announced announced its intentions to add this feature in June of last year.

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Google’s ‘Helpouts’ mobile apps are no longer available for download

Helpouts - Android Apps on Google Play 2015-02-13 10-20-23

Google has today pulled the mobile apps for its Helpouts service from the Play Store and the App Store (via TechCrunch), less than a year after they launched. The service, which allows you to offer on-demand real help to others in live time for a price (or for free), is seemingly no longer available on mobile despite the fact that the apps only launched in April of 2014. Read more

Google acquires Launchpad Toys, makes popular Toontastic kids app free

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It appears that Google is about ready to jump into the kid-friendly mobile app space, as Launchpad toys has today announced that they’ve been acquired by the Mountain View company. Known for its Toontastic storytelling app for kids, the company is joining Google to “create even more amazing creativity tools for kids.”

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Play Store reportedly topped App Store in total apps and developers for the first time in 2014

Total Apps 2014

The latest numbers from app metrics tracking firm AppFigures reveal that Google’s Play Store topped Apple’s App Store based on total number of apps and developers for the first time in 2014. Google moved ahead of Apple with 1.43 million Android apps in the Play Store, compared to 1.21 million on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Read more

Google forces removal of Amazon app from Play Store over hidden app store

Amazon App Android

Back in October, Amazon updated its official Android app with hidden yet fully functional access to its own app store. Amazon then vaguely mentioned the new feature in a subsequent press release, perhaps hoping the move would go unnoticed. But it hasn’t taken long for Google to catch wind of what happened, and the search company clearly isn’t happy about the move. Read more

Blackphone announces major 1.1 update to PrivatOS, new privacy-focused app store

The Blackphone

Blackphone, the Android-powered smartphone that aims to be the most secure handset in the world, has announced a slew of new features for an upcoming revamp of its PrivatOS operating system. Most notable is the addition of “Spaces,” which will provide users an easy way to separate apps and secure accounts & data between multiple “environments.” Blackphone has also announced the launch of what it claims is the world’s very first privacy-focused app marketplace…

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Nintendo patent hints at official Game Boy emulator for mobile phones

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TechCrunch points to a newly published patent filed by Nintendo that shows the company is interested in bringing Game Boy titles to mobile devices through emulation technology. Many emulators exist online to mimic old consoles and allow gamers to play back catalogs of games converted to ROM files on Macs and PCs, and Nintendo could possibly do the same to officially bring titles to mobile devices without much heavy lifting in terms of rewriting the games: Read more

Google Wallet adds recurring bank transfers for automatically adding money, low balance alerts

Google today announced it’s adding new ways to add money to its Google Wallet service in addition to some new features that will make keeping an eye on your balance easier. The app also appears to be getting a bit of a Material Design update on Android (as pictured above).

First up, you will now be able to setup automatic bank transfers that will ensure there is always money to spend in your Google Wallet account. The recurring transfers allow you to schedule weekly, bi-weekly or monthly deposits and can be cancelled at any time: Read more

Google Play app downloads exceed Apple’s App Store by 60 percent

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A new report from App Annie revealed that application downloads from Google Play exceeded downloads from Apple’s App Store by around 60 percent compared to statistics from the same time period last year. Although the Play Store saw a fair share of growth, iOS downloads managed to earn more money during Q3 2014, with a gap of nearly 60 percent. It’s possible that these changes could be due to Google Play’s expansion into emerging markets where people typically don’t download paid apps.

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Verizon reportedly in talks with others to build global Android app store

Verizon logo (medium)

Update: Verizon tells Re/code it has no plans to create an app store, adding “Been there. Done that.”

According to a new report from The Information, Verizon is looking to launch its own global app store and in the process has held talks regarding building an “industry coalition” of sorts with other carriers to do so. The app store would of course be a direct competitor for Google’s own Play Store that currently controls the majority of app downloads made on Android devices. Read more

Google releases official Analytics app for iPhone with Real Time reports

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Google has added yet another official application to its iOS App Store portfolio: Google Analytics. Analytics is Google’s popular service that allows website owners to manage and view data such as page views, demographics, and the technologies users utilize to access the website. The iPhone app also has the neat Real Time reports feature that allows website owners to view how many people are on the website at the current time. Google launched an optimized version of the Analytics app last year on Android and debuted a related AdWords app on iOS just last week. Like all Google apps, the Analytics program is on the the App Store for free.

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NFL Sunday Ticket streaming to be supported on Android without a satellite subscription for 2014 season

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For the first time ever, users who do not subscribe to DirecTV service will have access to the NFL’s Sunday Ticket service on their mobile devices and computers for the 2014 season. During previous seasons, Sunday Ticket users had to have an active DirecTV satellite subscription to stream the games. While no official announcement has been made, DirecTV has published a promotional page for the service, advertising the fact that users can now “access live, out-of-market NFL games without a DIRECTV satellite TV account.

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